Pastor Diane Schmitz
October 1, 2000

Listen to a prayer of the People of God:

All around the world we people of God are hungry, starving, thirsty.
Believer or non-believer we are longing, yearning, hoping, craving.
Our strength is dried up. God of all people; give us food to eat.
Burdened, weary, tired, angry, discouraged. Weeping, grieving, despairing.
This journey is too hard; we weaken and feel like we cannot go on.
God of all nations; give us food to eat.
We are hungry for forgiveness, thirsty for hope, starving for love.
Other food we are given does not satisfy, is not substantial; soon we are hungry again.
God of all creation; give us food to eat.
We are too often fooled by other food that looks so delicious but soon it loses its appeal for it does not feed our true hungers.
God of abundant love: give us your food to eat. Amen.

And the people of God remembered their story, remembered the promise, and remembered all of those before them for 2000 years gathering around the table to be fed. And at those tables they were reminded of this (Song #772 New Century Hymnal):

Nothing can trouble, nothing can frighten. Those who seek God shall never go wanting.
Nothing can trouble, nothing can frighten. God alone fills us.

Please join in singing with me. (Repeat song #772).

Listen to this person's prayer:

All around the world dear God, there are hungry people. I do not know what to do. They come weeping, asking for comfort, and desiring assurance. There are so many of them suffering in so many ways. What can I, a single person, do? I cannot carry the weight of the world alone; I am not able to serve all these needy people; there are too many. What am I to do? I cannot face this misery alone. I cannot stand to see this misery continue. Answer me, God. What am I to do? What am I to say? How am I to do it?

And God answered:

Gather your people together. Where two or more of you are gathered I am there. Unite in your common longing; know that you must share the burdens you bear. My Spirit is upon you all and we will share the burden together. You will be my hands in the world and my Spirit will infuse your every breath.

And the person remembered that promise, trusted in that promise and sang of it to others in their moment of need (New Century Hymnal, #775) :

"And God will raise you up on eagle's wings,
bear you on the breath of dawn,
make you to shine like the sun,
and hold you in the palm of God's hand.

And the people in need were fed by that promise and renewed and strengthened.

Moses was held in the palm of God's hand. He cried out to God, he listened to God and he followed God's guidance. He understood that God works through all people. He understood that everyone has prophetic words given to him or her by God to proclaim. This story tells us much about how to live as Christians.

We proclaim our hunger; we call out our need for God. We need not bear the needs of all people on our own. We can lighten those burdens by sharing them among communities. We all have a part to play in God's redeeming love spreading in our world. We all have a responsibility to be a prophet: to speak words of truth boldly. We can do all this because God feeds us; because we acknowledge our deep longing for God's love and allow that love to find a home in us so it may sustain us and work through us in the world.

Let us now prepare to be fed again from the deep wellspring of God's love and promise as we take communion together.